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    An Overview of Planescape & the various DnD settings
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2020
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    From: Emigre from Mystara

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    Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:28 pm  
    An Overview of Planescape & the various DnD settings

    Posted by David “Big Mac” Shepheard on 22 October 2021 On CanonFire Discord

    I'm not the world's biggest expert in Planescape, and mostly like it, because it picked up the torch of connectivity, from Spelljammer. The way I see D&D settings is this:
    • Greyhawk (Gary Gygax's setting)
    • Blackmoor (Dave Arneson's setting - originally set on the same world as Greyhawk - with the Egg of Coot lands representing someone else running a rival game that Dave Arneson's players went to - kept out of AD&D as part of a sneaky scheme to deny Dave royalties and the subject of a lawsuit)
    • Mystara (Initially used for the Classic D&D fork and legally isolated from AD&D, as part of the sneaky scheme against Dave Arneson - Blackmoor was retconned into it's past - eventually, it was converted to 2e AD&D)
    • Dragonlance (initially published for 1e - dropped all the 1e deities - used it's own small set of deities, with all creation myths rebooted away from what Greyhawk does - dropped the Great Wheel cosmology and used it's own cosmology - also dropped drow, as elves have a different backstory - dropped orcs for reasons I don't know)
    • Forgotten Realms (initially published for 1e - used the same monster deities and cosmology as Greyhawk - swaps out the human deities - backstory of FR is that it was originally connected to countless worlds by portals...that have been "forgotten")
    • Spelljammer (2e - original boxed set designed as a standalone product that connects the planetary systems of Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms - includes discarded scientific theories (crystal sphere and phlogiston) and classical descriptions of ships sailing in space - also includes "control mechanisms" to keep Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms apart)
    • Ravenloft (uplifted from a 1e adventure to a 2e Demiplane of Dread - the Mists of Ravenloft can reach out to any world, including Greyhawk)
    • Dark Sun (initially published for 2e - modifies the Great Wheel cosmology - no access to deities)

    • Planescape (uplifted from the 1e Manual of the Planes to a 2e campaign setting - rebooted the Dragonlance cosmology to put the gods into the Great Wheel - also connected to Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Spelljammer and Dark Sun - technically encloses Ravenloft)
    • Birthright (2e - not sure if it connects to the Great Wheel - it includes some sort of bloodline power - I don't know enough about this yet)
    • Council of Wyrms (2e - set in the ancient past - not the same planet as Greyhawk, Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms - uses dragon deities)
    • Jakandor (2e - set on an island in the middle of the sea - does not reuse previous deities)
    • Ghostwalk (3e - set on the edge of a continent around a portal to the afterlife - modifies the Great Wheel cosmology - does not reuse previous deities)
    • Eberron (3e - winner of a setting contest - reboots the origin story of all monsters - did not initially use the Great Wheel cosmology - it looks like WotC will retcon Eberron into the D&D Multiverse)
    • Nentir Vale (4e - originally designed as part of Forgotten Realms (for 3e) but rebooted, as it's own world to showcase the Points of Light concept - reuses Mystara and Greyhawk locations - uses the Dawn War cosmology - may get retconned into the D&D Multiverse - may also be ignored by WotC)

    So, my investigations into different D&D settings appear to suggest that Greyhawk has multiverse ties to Spelljammer, Planescape and Ravenloft. And by extension to Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance. And theoretically other D&D worlds, although you can't get there on a spelljamming ship (yet).

    And there is also some level of content sharing with Blackmoor, Mystara and Nentir Vale (as well as content sharing with Forgotten Realms in Night Below).

    The reason that Planescape is "better" than Spelljammer, for connectivity between Greyhawk and other D&D worlds, is that SJ came at a time when only Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms were available...and then got cancelled.

    The Planescape design team did not want to "make the same mistakes they made with Spelljammmer" 😢 and were able to make Planescape last longer, so they got more connectivity done. (You could probably use Gates in the World of Greyhawk along with Planescape, and other D&D settings - if you wanted them - to run some sort of "Celestians exploring the multiverse" game.

    By canon Al-Qadim, Maztica and Kara-Tur are part of Forgotten Realms. (Arcane Age, The Horde and Living Jungle are also part of Forgotten Realms.)

    Also Taladas and the three Otherlands settings (that only get 30 pages each) are part of Dragonlance.

    Also Sundered Empire is part of Greyhawk.

    Also multiple other planets are part of the D&D multiverse and are mentioned in Spelljammmer or Planescape. 😉
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
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    From: London UK

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    Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:19 am  

    There are two ways of viewing the multiverse, even before 3e started rebooting the Great Wheel, and - if you want to do a Greyhawk/Planescape crossover game, it's probably important to know which which.

    In the Alternate Prime Material Plane model, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms would each have a different plane. (But the worlds of Greyspace would all be part of the same Material Plane as Oerth.)

    In the One Material Plane model, Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms are all part of the same plane. (And the other worlds of Greyspace, Krynnspace and Realmspace are also part of the same plane.)

    The reason the difference is relevant is:
      • The One Prime Model requires the phlogiston to be part of the Material Plane (cut off from the other planes and the gods) but
      • The Alternate Primes Model requires the phlogiston to be a Transitive Plane (cut off from the other planes and the gods).

    You can choose which one to go with, but they have implications.
    David 'Big Mac' Shepheard<br />My Greyhawk links:;t=9355<br />(If I am not here, you can find me at the Greyhawk or Chainmail forums at The Piazza.)<br />
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